Our family will soon leave behind the United States, as missionaries joining Project Manana. In the next 25 days we have many things to accomplish in order to leave. Packing, more down sizing, preparing for the new school year, continuing Spanish classes, multiple appointments and on and on it goes. In this season that we are now in with preparations, I know more and more that we must remember to lean in all the more, to our relationship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit for guidance. So as my mind lately has been challenged to keep everything together, my heart and the Holy Spirit lead me to people above all else. Relationships. Remembering that people, in our busyness, are always the most important! How ever thankful we are and will be for the outpouring of love that so many people continue to extend our way! It gives our family so much encouragement and strength when we continue obeying His calling to serve the people in the Dominican.
So many faces, so many hearts. And each one matters to our Lord.
I have to tell you though, this calling is not always easy. Sometimes there can be moments of doubt that tend to creep in. After all the faithfulness that God has already shown, how can it be that I still fall into a pattern of the Israelites in Egypt. Confirmation after confirmation of His faithfulness that my God shows and yet I can still doubt. It’s this flesh that I live in that allows the thoughts in my mind to think, it’s all about what I can accomplish that helps my family to the work ahead, leaving behind every security that I could build up on my own. But where is the faith in that?
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
In recent struggles, I prayed that God would surround me with those that could help on how to handle some challenges. However during that time, God allowed friends to come my way, having challenges of their own and in the encouragement that I provided to them, I knew the Lord was telling me that it was this very same advice that I needed to take to heart for myself. Pray to Him, give it all to Him and there is peace that will follow.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and i will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Jesus. Matthew 11:28-30
I prayed to Him again, asking to show me that our call was clear. Well in my moment of quiet time and studying His word, lyrics to a song popped into my head…
“Take my life and let it be all for you…” Again, these lyrics, out of nowhere, came into my mind. I kept singing the words as an anthem and promise for Him. But then I was bummed that I couldn’t remember the rest of the song. It’s a song that I could hear but I couldn’t remember all the words. Just this one line. So I did what any good Christian would do when you need to figure something out…
Yup, I Googled. I had to Google! It was driving me nuts! I searched the only lyrics I knew but everything that popped up, I knew it wasn’t right. Google showed me that Chris Tomlin sang the song. I knew that wasn’t the voice I was hearing. Michael W. Smith and Paul Baloche. Again, those were not the artists that I could hear singing. Then I saw the name, Frances Havergal. An article stated that she was the woman who wrote the hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be”. It was there that I read how she was a woman that supported the Church Missionary Society, which was helped to get started by William Wilberforce, who was the man that was friends with John Newton, the man that wrote Amazing Grace! I thought it was all so interesting. And then during this reading, the rest of the song vividly came to my mind…
I was so glad that I had finally found the entire song AND the band that I could hear singing it. I had always heard the song on the radio, but more as just noise in the background. It was great to finally hear the entire song…(here’s just a few of the lyrics)
“You brought me this far so why would i question you now You have provided so why would i start to doubt I’ve never been stranded, abandoned or left here to fight alone So I’m giving you control” “If peace is a river then let it sweep over me If I’m under fire I know it’s refining me When I hear you calling out I follow now wherever the road may go…i know you’re leading me home” “I lift my life, lift my life up I give it all in surrender I lift my heart, lift my heart up You can have it forever…” “Take my life and let it be all for you…”
It was exactly what I needed to hear AND how I felt! Then what was even more amazing was since I enjoyed the song so much but didn’t know the band, I started to research the band. The band Unspoken, is lead by the artist, Chad Mattson. Chad’s story in a nutshell, is he grew up in a Christian home, went to church and was saved at age twelve. Along the way, he got into doing his own thing and started tripping over his own feet. One day his brother brought him a card from a missionary. After he spent time with the missionary in THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, for the first time in his life, he started to read the Bible, pray and really seek God. He met his guitar player, also from the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, and they decided to start a band.
I mean, are you kidding me?! I couldn’t believe it. It just was so awesome. Moment by moment by moment, I knew that God was leading me to the understanding that I have to let go of the doubt! I have to keep strong in my faith in Him! We ARE 100% Called 2 Serve in the Dominican. Listen, we might not be fully supported with our finances. We might not know exactly the timing of Gods ways and wonders. But I know this- I know that if we stay the course to His leading, His Will be done! Not everything can be fully known. Not everything can be perfectly planned. We can’t control anything because we don’t and will never have control. If we did, why would we need Him? When we live a life thinking that we can and need to do everything on our own, where does God fit in? We can’t live that way, He doesn’t want us to live that way. He wants us to come to Him, His Son Jesus, where He is, there is rest. He gives us the relationship that we can have with God. The God that created the Universe, the world and every being is in His hands. That’s the only place where we want to be and we’re ready and willing to help build His Kingdom.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
Again, I just have to remember this…Every. Single. Day. The struggle is real. Can I get an AMEN?!?